Acer Unveils Swift 7 – Extremely Thin, Extremely Powerful

Acer, the tech giant responsible for pushing many innovative computing devices has recently unveiled something extraordinary as we lead up to the IFA. The company has decided to include another 13.3-inch laptop in their arsenal of devices. A few days earlier, another device was included in the list and that was the brand new revamped Chromebook. This 13.3-inch Laptop is titled as the Swift 7 and would be a Windows 10 machine. The exciting bit about the device is its thin and sleek profile. The machine comes in slightly less than a centimeter bearing the size of 9.98mm or if you are a fan of inches, 0.39 inches. This chic profile puts Acer in a position to compete for one of the slimmest notebooks of our time.

Adding to the sleek profile, the machine is extremely lightweight, weighing a meager 2.48 pounds. To further sweeten up the deal, the computing machine comes in an aluminum chassis, featuring a unibody design with the display being covered with Gorilla Glass. Interestingly, Acer kept the bezels really thin this time around, to make the display more vivid. In terms of battery life, the device is nowhere substandard with Acer promising a complete nine hours of usage on a full battery. This is promising especially due to the narrow footprint given off by the notebook.

Given the thinness and size of the notebook, one might wonder about the performance. However, Acer has filled up the 7th Generation Core i5 Processor to power up the device coupling it with 8GB of RAM and a substantial amount of SSD Storage (256 GB). For connectivity purposes, the device features two USB Type-C ports. For the Webcam, Acer has opted for an HDR-enabled variant which provides amazing quality. The laptop is scheduled for a North American release next month and would bear a price-tag of $999 which is completely justified.

The Swift lineup of Acer is filled with three other models, all of them bearing a 14-inch display. In terms of price, the cheapest in the line is Swift 1 which starts from $249.

Twitter Offers An Enticing 70/30 Revenue Split To Its Users

Twitter, the social media giant wants users to actively post content on its platform and in order to promote that the company has decided to pay users who craft interesting videos. Chris Collins, a highly active internet superstar has two million subscribers on YouTube while there are about twice as many subscriber on his Vine channel. Twitter aims to target such users.

It is easy to figure that Twitter wants to take the lead from YouTube in terms of active users and in order to make it a reality, the company is offering highly appealing terms to artists having a huge following. In order to pull this off, the company has decided to borrow the policy adopted by YouTube, that is the company will sell ads alongside the videos in order to generate Furthermore, Twitter is offering a revenue-split which is better than the terms and conditions established by YouTube.

Unlike YouTube which offers a 55% revenue split to its user, it is being rumored that Twitter has planned to offer the same revenue split that it offers to its other Amplify video partners including the NFL. That is keeping 30 percent of the revenue generated while handing 70 percent back to the content creator. This doesn’t come off as a surprise because Twitter needs to offer something appealing to its potential users in order to lure them in. This can also be attributed to the fact that Twitter isn’t viewed as a video destination unlike Facebook and YouTube. Further, Twitter is late to the party when it comes to actually paying video creators, even though Vine Creators on Twitter wanted a revenue split since a long time and eventually migrated to other portals. Therefore, the chances of Twitter becoming a video hub even with these appealing terms and conditions seem unclear.

OTHER DETAILS

Twitter’s terms and conditions don’t apply to other sites owned by Twitter such as Vine and Periscope, and the revenue split provided to its users is the same as the one that the company provides to premium content creators such as the NFL. The content posted on Twitter is not supposed to be Twitter exclusive and artists can use the same content elsewhere.Twitter would not be paying any advance funding to its users and users can join in the program starting from Tuesday. However, it must be noted that in its initial phase, the program is limited only to US residents.

iPhone 7 Launch Date Confirmed

Apple, the tech giant most aptly recognized for its revolutionary smartphone, the iPhone has somewhat confirmed the release date of its highly anticipated iPhone 7. The confirmation comes from invitations that were sent out by the company to big media houses. The event is scheduled for next week and speculations suggest that it has been organized to unveil their new flagship device.

The event will take place in Bill Graham Civic Auditorium located in the city of San Francisco and will occur on September 7, with the kick-off time being 10am, local time. Typically, Apple includes a hidden message in their invitation passes, however, this time, the company decided to bypass it altogether. The tagline of the invitation is ‘See you on the 7th’ which might be a subtle hint towards iPhone 7.

The invitation card also features a number of colored dots which are outlining Apple’s logo. This might be a hint to the introduction of new color schemes that have been in the rumors. The out-of-focus effect implemented in the invitation is called bokeh and it is extremely hard to recreate it using a phone camera. This is highly suggestive of an upgraded camera lens in the iPhone 7. The dots, however, could also be a hint at water droplets and if that is the case, then it might be a nod at the rumors which suggested the new iPhone to be waterproof.

Rumors have been surrounding the upcoming iPhone for many months with the most persistent and plausible one being about the removal of the headphone jack. If that is true, then you would need to buy an adapter in order to use your existing wired earphones with Apple’s lightning port, or you can always bypass that in favor of Bluetooth accessories.

As for the camera, speculations have suggested that the upgrade would occur only in the Plus variant of the phone. The upgrade would be quite substantial with rumors stating that the iPhone would be able to capture SLR quality photos and 3D images. Previously, rumors were also afloat about the removal of the home button; however, recent news has suggested that Apple is saving that for the tenth-anniversary edition which will be coming out next year.

The speculations are definitely through the roof and Apple might finally put them all to a rest by unveiling its flagship device on September 7, 2016.

Opera Confirms Hacking Of Sync Servers

Opera, the Norway-based web browser company has recently released an announcement which confirmed that the company has indeed had its sync servers hacked which might have potentially exposed user passwords. In its announcement, the company warned its users about the possible security threat they face due to the breach in the system. The company does, however, claim that it efficiently curbed the attack during its initial stages, but, there is still a chance of compromise of confidential user data.

In its blog post, the company stated that there was an attack made on the servers earlier last week, and the attack was promptly dealt with. The company did mention that the user data was encrypted, however, since sync servers house some of the most secure data, such as, login names and essential account information; the company doesn’t want its users taking any chances.

As a result of this breach, Opera has already reset the Opera Sync account passwords as the first precautionary measure while sending out an email to all users reporting about the incident while also requesting them to change their account passwords. The company also recommends resetting of passwords linked to third-party websites which have been synchronized with the website. It must be noted that users who have not opted for Opera Sync service do not need to make any updates to their passwords.

Opera Sync was a service launched by Opera which allowed users to sync their web browser’s settings and other data across different devices. According to the company’s statistics, the total number of active users of the service recorded in the last month is approximately 1.7 million which is a meager amount (0.5%) when compared to the total Opera user base which recently surpassed the 350 million users mark.

Last month, Opera was in the limelight due to the acquisition of the company by a Chinese consortium which is led by Golden Brick Silk Road. The company acquired Opera’s browsers, both mobile, and desktop. News like this, a month after the acquisition of the company raises a lot of questions.

Recently, Opera also unveiled an unlimited VPN application which was coupled with ad-blocker for the Android platform.

In The Age Of Cloud, Does Knowledge Matter

Knowledge, something that people of our generation have stopped giving significance to, is a treasure. Many notable economists, analysts, and philosophers have warned time and again about the drawback associated with the outsourcing of memory and knowledge to the internet. However, one begins to wonder if knowledge is really a need of time in today’s fast-paced world which runs on the power supplied by search engines and big data powerhouses.

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a renowned economist recently shared his thought process. He stated that one of the most common queries in the search engine was ‘how long is my penis?’ Any Luddite would say that a ruler would have a better answer as compared to the search engine. However, digital natives consider every opposer of technology as men living in the Stone Age.

Interestingly, with the rise in search engines, knowledge has become scarce. In many surveys conducted amongst the general public, it was noted that more than 50% of the population having an age less than 30 years old was either completely unaware or mostly ill-informed about topics that ranged from pop culture to quantum physics. It is highly unfortunate that the population is not even sure about the largest ocean of the earth, uninformed about the first artificial satellite sent in space, and is completely clueless about who made necessary inventions like the bulb, telephone or radio.

This leads one to ponder whether knowledge really matters. Anthony Downs, another notable economist coined the term of rational ignorance back in the 1950s. According to him, there are many instances where acquiring certain knowledge is needless. For instance, most of us don’t bother acquiring knowledge about car repairing or accounting. And if faced with a problem, we consult the experts of that field – and this is completely sensible.

For the past few years, our generation has been outsourcing both memory and knowledge to the internet. One might argue that such a phenomenon is good; however, it comes with a serious drawback. The cloud is making us critically ignorant rendering us unaware about things that we do not know.

Each day, we make thousands of decisions based on the knowledge that is accessible in our head and recent surveys have noticed that people who have little knowledge make poor choices when it comes to making judgments using a rational thought process. As people used to say, common sense is not so common. However, in today’s time, it would not be wrong to say, that it has become a rarity.

Knowledge is not wisdom but it is definitely the founding pillar of wisdom.

T-Mobile Reveals The List Of Devices That Will Receive Android Nougat (7.0) Upgrade

Google’s Android Nougat was in the beta phases for the past few months. However, the tech giant recently unveiled the stable version of its operating system and it has already rolled out on the company’s Nexus series of smartphones. This brought a lot of questions to users not operating the Nexus phones, particularly people who are locked on carrier’s network. In order to ease the curiosity, T-mobile came forward and posted a list of devices by both Samsung and HTC that will be received the system update of Android Nougat.

The list of devices that will receive the sweet upgrade is posted on the company’s webpage and includes only two of HTC device namely, HTC 10 and HTC One M9. In Samsung’s department, there are a plethora of devices that are scheduled to receive the upgrade including two devices from the company’s premium Note Series that is Note 5 and Note 7 and all variants of Galaxy S6 and S7. Note 7 was promised the upgrade to Nougat on the smartphone’s launch so it doesn’t come off as a surprise.

Unfortunately for users, T-Mobile hasn’t mentioned anything about the time required for these updates to be pushed to user devices nor has the company mentioned the order in which phones will be upgraded.

T-Mobile has, however, promised that it will keep the users posted about the current stage of the update process. Currently, the updating process is in its First Stage which is titled as manufacturer development. In this stage, T-Mobile has entered into an agreement with both HTC and Samsung that it will support the software update. Stage Two is when the companies will actively test the update while Stage Three is when the rollout will begin.

The new Android operating system is bundled with a few exciting features which include Direct Reply, Split Screening of Application supported natively, Better Notification, Highly Enhanced Battery Life, Additional Emojis and completely revamped settings. Apart from these features, it is being rumored that the next version of the update (7.1) will come with additional features that fans expected to see. Notable features that are rumored to be included in the next version include Google’s Assistant, a customizable navigation bar and the Nexus Launcher.

Apple Getting Rid Of The Home Button From iPhone 8

Apple has been in the news lately, due to various rumors being associated with its upcoming iPhone 7 model. Interestingly, however, a new rumor has popped up and it pertains to next year’s iPhone’s 10th-anniversary model. The rumor suggests that Apple might actually remove the home button from the 2017 variant of the iPhone.

The rumor was indicated in a report by Bloomberg which cited a person close the manufacturing proves of the iPhone. The anonymous person indicated that with the iPhone 8, Apple will be focusing more on the display of the device. A major chunk of the report also discusses an iPhone which is made specifically to support FeliCa payments in Japan.

He stated that Apple is hard at work to craft a major redesign of the iPhone. The core of this redesign centers on removing the home button from the section of the device. This rumor is in line with the previous rumors which have been suggesting the same thing in the 10th-anniversary edition of the iPhone. Earlier this year, an article by WSJ stated a similar thing that the upcoming handset would be crafted with a single piece of glass which would altogether omit the possibility of having a home button. The home button has always been a central feature of all iPhone models and it seems that Apple is finally considering dropping it to give a more futuristic feel to its devices.

Earlier this year reports were unveiled which indicated that Foxconn is busy developing an all-glass casing. Also, KGI has backed up the claims about an all-glass iPhone 8. Along with all this, Apple has also made patent filings for a curved OLED display panel for next year’s smartphone. If the reported rumors are true, then this would be the first time, the company would be using OLED panels for display as the company has used LCD technology for all iPhones manufactured to date.

This year’s iPhone is scheduled for an early September release and it has been speculated that the device would have minimal changes in terms of design and specifications. It is most likely that the company would retain the home button in this variant, however, some rumors have hinted at the home button including a new Force Touch technology which would be coupled with haptic feedback.

At this point passing any conclusion about the lack of a home button is irrelevant; however, if it does happen then it would be interesting to see how the company imparts the functionality in the display panel.

WhatsApp Updates Privacy Policy To Give User Data Access To Facebook

WhatsApp, one of the most prominent communicating applications of this generation was acquired by Facebook in the year 2014. After the acquisition, users of WhatsApp worried that the application won’t be able to maintain its high privacy standards. Co-founder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum tried to dispel these worries by writing a blog post which stated that respect for the user’s privacy is encoded in their DNA and the application was built to acquire as little knowledge about the users as possible. However, today, the company eased some of their own restrictions by announcing that they will be sharing a limited amount of user data with its parent company, Facebook.

Elaborating this move, WhatsApp stated that sharing of this information would allow Facebook to offer targeted friend suggestions by mapping the user’s connections across the two platforms. This move is also anticipated to aid Facebook in providing better and more relevant ads. Furthermore analytics data from the communication app, WhatsApp will also be provided to Facebook to help them in tracking usage metrics while also combating spam.

WhatsApp states that the company wants to explore how different corporations can use the application to contact their consumers. In order to better highlight the potential usage of this application, the company gave a few examples such as a banking firm warning their consumers about a potentially fraudulent transaction, or airline companies warning their consumers about any flight delays. The company states that in order to adequately test these features, it needs to update its privacy policy. Facebook was already going down this avenue with its Messenger application and now it seems that WhatsApp is following suit. The company has stated that customers would be allowed to manage these communications and it would not lead to any third-party ad banners on the application.

WhatsApp users are likely to get annoyed as the company has agreed to share information with Facebook. This is because the company’s popularity stemmed from the application providing unobtrusive services. In order to curb this criticism the company issued a statement which stated that even though a limited amount of user data will be shared, however, the company will still follow its policy of providing end-to-end encryption keeping the user messages private. Further, the company promised that the user’s WhatsApp number would not be shared with any advertisers or on Facebook.

Samsung’s First Tizen-Powered Budget-Friendly Smartphone Comes To India

Samsung, the company responsible for delivering some of the finest smartphones has developed its own operating system named Tizen. The operating system borrows some features from Android’s Open Source Platform and is an intelligently crafted mix. Previously, Samsung used to modify the Android software to include its TouchWiz system. However, Tizen differs considerably as it is not based on Android.

Recently, Samsung unveiled its latest mobile codenamed Z2 which would be running the Tizen Operating System. The smartphone would be launched in India today and would be budget friendly; something that would appeal to the Indian population. The device has been priced at INR 4,590 which is roughly USD 68. Z2 is the first smartphone running the Tizen operating system that would be capable of running 4G services.

In terms of specifications, the device is not exactly outstanding as it has mediocre specifications. The device runs on a 1.5 GHz processor coupled with a gigabyte of RAM and includes a meager internal storage quoted to be 8GB (actual storage would be less due to the presence of system files). However, the device would certainly provide consumers on a tight budget with a plethora of features which include the ability to connect to 4G networks and a 90-day free trial to various entertainment applications supplied by Indian operator, Jio. Users would get access to free video calling and data services. The mobile operator, Jio believes that once consumers start using 4G data, they would start paying for the services on their own.

Further, the device comes equipped with a bunch of Samsung applications that are devised specifically for the Indian Population including an Ultra Data Saving Mode which compresses the data by a staggering 40% in order to save user data. There is also a Bike Mode which would field calls when the user is driving. Apart from this Samsung has also unveiled a challenge having a cash prize of $185,000. The challenge requires developers to craft games and applications for the new operating system; the developers of the popular applications would then receive a cash prize.

Netgear’s Upcoming Orbi System Aims To Revive Wi-Fi Dead Spots

Netgear is working hard to rid your home of Wi-Fi dead spots. It is highly frustrating when one cannot connect to their Wi-Fi network in spots that are farther away from the router. Netgear has designed a Wi-Fi system titled Orbi with the aim to outdo all these problems. The system comprises of a router which is coupled with a satellite. The company states that the satellite is more than capable of covering an area of up to 4,000 square feet. The pricing of the kit has been set at $400. The standout feature of Orbi is the incorporated tri-band mesh system. According to the company, the system will utilize one channel for increasing the range of internet from the router while the other two channels would be dedicated to your device connections.

Further, the Orbi is designed to be completely hassle-free with an easy to configure browser-based installation process. The process is easily accessible through both phone and computer. Further, the device helps you decide where to set up the extender. Once the router is plugged in, the color at the top of the Orbi turns into either of the following colors. Magenta indicates out of range, amber means that the signal is weak whereas blue indicates a suitable distance from the router.

While explaining the triband mesh system, Netgear stated that other Wi-Fi products use the same channel for range extension and device connection which contributes to the slowing of speeds. However, since Netgear has separate channels, this prevent speeds from dropping as the signal is spread across the premises.

The device supports 802.11 ac Wi-Fi with speeds up to 3 Gbps while the router and satellite come equipped with four Ethernet ports and a USB 2.0 port on the rear section of the device. Further, controls like blacklisting and whitelisting applications along with a plethora of bundled features are included in Netgear’s top-notch Nighthawk Router.

Even though Orbi would have to compete with some premium systems like Eero and Luma in terms of range extension, however, given Netgear’s reputation in the US, it would not be surprising to witness Netgear doing away with the competition in minimum time. The device is scheduled to come out in September.